Staff of the Public Health Department on Wednesday attended a one-day workshop on the prevention, management and control of rodents.

The main objective of the workshop is to control the spread of new and recurring vector borne diseases including chikungunya, dengue, and leptospirosis.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chief Health Education Officer Neri James, highlighted the important role of his staff to ensure that vectors do not interfere with the lives and livelihoods of Vincentians.

He noted that the Public Health Department deals with infectious diseases related to mosquitoes and rodents and reiterated that rodents pose threats to humans as they can transmit up to 35 diseases. Therefore, the workshop serves as a means of equipping the staff in dealing with vector control. Infectious disease control expert and dacilitator, Dr. Chris Frederickson, stated that the workshop includes several interactive activities to draw out the experiences of participants. Frederickson said participants will understand what rodents do, their weak points, and the best ways they can control them. He said that participants would have opportunities to highlight some of the vector control problems in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and possible solutions.

Senior Health Officer Todd Lewis stated that rodent control has been a major challenge for the Environmental Health Department over the years. Past attempts at rodent control have been unsuccessful despite numerous initiatives to combat vectors, he said.

He pointed out that Rodents pose serious threats to the tourism and the agricultural industries and the health and wellbeing of all Vincentians.

He said an integrated framework is the only approach to consistently control and prevent the infestation of rodents and their associated diseases.

The components of an integrated framework to reduce vector populations include: cultural, mechanical, physical, and biological control.

To this end, Lewis emphasized that the ministry is working proactively to control the spread of rodents in the country.

Rodent surveillance, disease surveillance, environmental management, inspection of food establishments, baiting, and sensitization workshops are some of the approaches that will be taken to control and manage rodents.

(API)

One reply on “Public health officials discuss rodent control”

  1. Ralph Gonsalves can be described as the pied piper, so let our pied PM tell you how to get rid of rats, he knows everything about everything. He could probably talk for several days none stop on the subject.

    I have written about rats in SVG and in Kingstown in particular, many, many times.

    I have said a hundred times there needs to be several teams of professional rat catchers trapping rats every night, removing the traps early in the morning.

    Having a little blitz in one part of the town or the other occasionally just will never work. Its a 52 weeks of the year job.

    Our schools are still infested with droppings and urine all over children’s desks. Poison is not the answer because it kills cats and dogs which catch and eat the stupefied rats.

    Modern rat cage traps are the way forward, so as other creatures do not get caught in traps that have crashing jaws.

    The problem is with the government being broke, they have no money to fund such a scheme.

    You should all remember to wash your fruit and vegetables that you buy in the market and streets, rats run all over them during the night.

    Rats even run all over the surfaces in our restaurant and hotel kitchens at night, its doesn’t matter how clean and respectable an establishment is, rats go anywhere and everywhere, their not at all fussy.

    Until the fat and grease is stopped being pumped into the open roadside drains at night in Kingstown, the problem will always be there. Lots of restaurants do it including the fried chicken outlet and many of those Chinese restaurants. Food prep sinks also run into these open drains along with particles of food stuffs. Take a walk down lower Bay
    Street early in the morning and see all the crap in the drains.

    In fact take a walk through Kingstown at 4 am any morning to see hords of rats everywhere.

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